With the holiday season now in full swing, many Vancouver moms are planning visits to distant family – or maybe even escapes to someplace warm and sunny. When you’re preparing for a vacation you may be thinking about things like finding somebody to water your plants, making sure everyone has a good suitcase and clothes that are appropriate for your destination, buying quiet toys to keep your kids entertained on the trip, and a whole lot more. But are you thinking about safety? Today, Vancouver Mom has holiday travel tips that will help you find peace of mind while you plan your vacation.
Staying Safe: Holiday Travel Tips
1. Read What the Canadian Government Has to Say
If your holiday travels will take you outside of Canada, the federal government has information that can help. Head to their website at travel.gc.ca for travel news and warnings, information and more. They also have information on re-entering Canada, including land border wait times and information about what you can bring into Canada, and your customs exemptions. Just how much booze can you buy at the duty-free on the way home? This is where to go to find out.
2. Make Sure You’re Insured
If your plans are derailed for any reason, you won’t want to be out-of-pocket for your travel costs. In addition, if you’re travelling outside of Canada, you’ll want to make sure that you have health insurance. It’s easy to forget that you can’t just present your Care Card when you need to see a doctor anywhere in the world, and health costs can add up fast. Some employers offer emergency medical insurance when you’re outside of country, and some credit cards offer travel insurance as well. One of our biggest holiday travel tips is to check out what coverage you already have, and top it up if necessary, so that your vacation doesn’t end up costing you way more than you budgeted for.
3. Have Someone Check on Your Home
A couple of months ago, the intake valve on the back of my toilet burst while I was sitting downstairs and working. Luckily I was home, so I was able to turn off the water within a minute and mop up my bathroom floor before it caused lasting damage. I shudder to think what would have happened if the valve had burst while my family was out of town for 10 days. It drove home a point for me, which is that stuff can happen. Having someone drop by your place every so often while you’re out of town is a good idea, just to make sure nothing is amiss.
4. Talk to Your Kids
You’ve likely spent a lot of time teaching your kids the safety rules they need to know in their daily lives. In fact, when you have small children, safety is almost always on your mind, as they have a way of putting themselves at risk. It’s no surprise, therefore, that one of the most important holiday travel tips we have to share is to make sure you explain any new safety rules to your kids well in advance. For instance, is the tap water safe to drink at your destination? Are there any plants or animals to look out for? What should they do if they get separated from you? Writing your cell phone number on a sticker that you can put somewhere on your child’s body (or directly on their skin with a Sharpie – we won’t judge) may help you re-connect more quickly if you can’t find each other for any reason. It’s true that cell phone roaming fees are expensive, but peace of mind is priceless.
5. Stay in Touch
Before you leave, make sure that someone knows your travel itinerary. Scanning important documents, like your passport and insurance information, is also a good idea in case something gets lost. One great way to simplify this process is to join a network like ePACT. It allows you to easily share all of these emergency details with the people who need to know. It also makes it easier to communicate during an emergency, in the unlikely event something happens either at your destination or back at home while you’re away.
Taking time to think about safety before you leave will help you to relax and enjoy your vacation. And couldn’t we all use just a little more peace of mind? Speaking of peace of mind, do you have any holiday travel tips to share? Leave a reply and let us know!
This article was sponsored by ePACT, the emergency network: supporting families and organizations day to day and in any crisis. ePACT is your single emergency network and support network all in one. With ePACT, you’ll never have to fill out a paper emergency form again. Simply create an account, enter your family’s emergency information once, then securely store it online. You can connect to friends and relatives who act as your emergency contacts, and share your information with the organizations who support you, like your school, daycare, sports team and more. ePACT ensures that you and those who support you are always connected. Join today at epactnetwork.com.
Amber Strocel is a writer, aspiring math teacher, suburbanite, wife and mom of two. She believes in the power of the Internet to connect people, and she believes that numbers are the poetry of the universe. You can often find her knitting, sewing, volunteering, working in her garden, and sneaking chocolate when no one's looking. She blogs at Strocel.com and shares her photos on Instagram as @AmberStrocel.